Exit and Support Network

I Was Enslaved to the WCG Cult

I'm a survivor of the Worldwide Church of God. I was a teenager in it during the `70s and spent my twenties enslaved to its doctrines and regulations. The effects of the Worldwide Church of God's teachings were devastating, both financially and personally.

My father, as a result of the cult teaching that seeing a doctor was tantamount to Satan worship, refused medical treatment, and nearly died from gangrene, being saved only after his brothers and sisters came to forcibly take him to the hospital. The "minister" of the Worldwide Church of God agreed to let him go--my father was delirious and my mother relied on the "minister's" guidance--only after my uncle threatened the minister with a gun.

Personally I lost nearly $100,000 because I followed the requirements of the cult to pay three tithes plus offerings. The effects also contributed to a host of difficulties that I have had regarding authority figures and my ability to interact effectively with others.

I am glad to say that I have made and continue to make significant progress in recovering from my experience. I am now a doctoral student doing research into ways that groups can surface and deal with information that is important to their acting both effectively and justly.

I deeply contest those whom assert that the Worldwide Church of God is no longer a cult. I believe that there is not a black and white division between cult and non-cult. There is a whole range of ways that an organization can be partly a cult and partly not. While the Worldwide Church of God has moved closer to non-cult status by its doctrinal changes, I believe it still retains much of its past "cult"-ure, and, because of the ways it acts, is still very much a cult.

By Paul
August 13, 2003

NOTICE: In April 2009 Worldwide Church of God changed their name in the United States to Grace Communion International. (Some local church areas and countries may still carry the former name or a different one.)

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